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Published: August 6th 2007
Auchan is such an interesting place, we thought it deserved its own entry. Turns out it is a French hypermarket chain. I can't imagine how it isn't wildly successful in Suzhou, considering the flocks of people
that heard to its doors day and night.
It is interesting the types of foods you encounter in a foreign country. It further enforces the notion that
taste buds are relative. Some huge multi-national food companies have been made known for their international market campaign flops--poorly translated products, tastes that don't fit the local taste buds, etc. Others have prospered internationally. For example, Pringles has Sirlion Steak, Seafood combonation, Beef Noodle, and Thai Special chips. They have done a lot to appeal to the local clientele. Some of the chips
pass our standards; others fall drastically short.
We have prepared a short segment of Auchan pictures. Enjoy😊
Garlic scented dishsoap. This goes against all standards of cleanliness where we are from. You scrub your cutting board like a banshy to get that sour icky garlic smell off the surface. Here, the smell of garlic is a symbol utmost sanitation.
Aaron gave a class that gave a list of things foreigners
thought were strange in China. The topic of corn flavored items arose. Corn on the cob is often sold as a snack on street corners. In Auchan, corn-flavored ice cream sells rampidly. Even corn-flavored lolly pops and hard candies exsist. Aaron's students eticulously argued in favor of... the flavor- the contrast of sweet and salty. Aaron held his ground and deedlessly boycotts any corn-flavored products that are targeted as a desert item.
Coffee-flavored gum. Don't you brush your teeth to get rid of the early morning coffee breath? We thought
this was a universally recognized maxim. Apparently not, because coffee gum is sold everywhere and must be quite popular. Ekk!
Baijiu in a plastic squirt bottle. We have all read about the booming Chinese economy. The costs of labor
are astronomically low, raw materials are unmeasurabley cheap, and margins are increasingly widening. Here is a great example. "If we use plastic, the margins further increase, and if we have a sport
pop top, the drunkards can sift it down faster, thus, increasing sales." Genius. GDP growth for 2007 quarter
1 in China, 11.1%. Cost for one bottle of gritty, feasibly engine-cleaning able baijiu, 18 cents.
imagine "day after thanksgiving sale" X 10
this is in the big isle at the front of the store...some isles were impossible to get through...on a Wednesday night!!
and critters section. Ely had a hard time taking pictures of the slimy little monsters--frogs,
fish, eels, snakes, crabs, lobsters, etc.. We could sit and watch the tanks for hours. The best part is when a crab somehow climbs his way into the frog living quarters. It drives the frogs crazy. When the crabs go for a pinch, they jump relentlessly. Some fromgs eventually jumped their way out...to freedom, only to find themselves another tank away, into the suicide tank of crabs. Euphemistically speaking, a difficult way to pass.
Anyone feel like a corny bar? There is only 1 rule when you eat one. You MUST make Aaron's face while
eating these suckers the whole time. (Common conversation relating to Corny bars) "Aww mom, stop
giving me these corny bars for school lunch, my friends make fun the face I make when eating them.
Seriously, can't I get something cool, like Snickers, or Nature's Harvest Maple Syrup Burst?"
The absolute best part about Auchan is the pinapple man. If the Chinaman knew English, he would by now
undoubtably know our complete life story. Instead, we just exchange smiles, ask for his expert advice when
picking pinnapples, and move
Garlic Flavored Dish Soap
doesn't that defeat the purpose of doing the dishes??
on. Ely has been known to not be the healthiest of eaters. For this reason, we have upped our pinapple intake to around 1 per day. Outside Auchan, people sell them in quarter sections for 12 cents. A wonderful and refreshing snack. At home, we slice 'em up and put them in with cereal and yogurt. MMM good. And cheap, around 50 cents per.
Fruits and vegetables are so cheap and delicious. Our wander lust sparked by watching travel shows back
home. We saw so many interesting fruits. Fruits we had never seen before. Fruits we didn't even know the name of. Yesterday, we cut open what looked like an ordinary watermelon, but turned out to be yellow
inside--tasted the same, very delicious. We have noticed that fruit is getting sweeter and sweeter, and
prices seem to drift lower and lower.
There is a fruit--notorious in nature--called the durian. It carries the same name in China as in the US, so easy to remember. It is the spikey looking, circular-shaped, and --if made available in Europe at the time--probably could have been used in midevil times as a torchering mechanism 😊 It is the quintessential fruit of Southeast
Coffee Flavored Gum?
don't people chew gum to get RID of coffee breath?
Asia. Sadly, people have actually died from durian falling from a tree and hitting them in the head. Crazy. Anyways, a cut durian is recognized by its distinct scent long before the sight of it. So we've been told it has an absolute rotten smell, and the taste is, well, acquired. In Thailand, it is actually banned by law in some public places and hotels.
The fruit inside is somewhat of a yogurt texture. The produce department has decided to slice up durian and
offer it for sale. We aren't brave enough yet. Maybe our next trip--it is bound to happen. You almost have
to try something that people seemingly brag about being so awful--like baijiu (though Aaron is developing a taste for it, maybe replacing his Bordeaux and Pinot pallet).
We hope you like the pics!
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